Collective bargaining moves to conciliation process

Vari Hall

In October 2020 the University commenced collective bargaining with CUPE 3903, Units 1, 2, and 3 the union representing our teaching assistants, contract faculty and graduate assistants.

Early in the process the University presented CUPE 3903 with extension framework proposals for each of Units 1, 2 and 3 with the view that by agreeing to extension agreements on terms acceptable to both parties, it would provide certainty for students, teaching assistants, contract faculty, graduate assistants, and other employees of the University during these uncertain times. While ultimately the University’s proposed approach to expedite bargaining through extension agreements did not lead to the quick resolution to bargaining that the University had hoped for, the parties have continued on in the negotiation process.

To date, the parties have met together a total of 23 separate dates:

  • 16 of those dates have been in direct talks between the parties.
  • 7 of those dates have been mediated by Chris Albertyn, a mediator familiar to the parties, and who the parties asked to assist with the Unit 2 (contract faculty) negotiations regarding issues of job stability and equity.

While the University appreciates the mutual efforts and constructive dialogue between the parties, progress during bargaining has been slow. It is now clear to the University that negotiations would benefit by moving to the conciliation process with the assistance of a government-appointed, neutral third-party conciliator. This is a normal part of the collective bargaining process and was initiated in the last round of bargaining by CUPE 3903.

It is our strong preference to work through the conciliation process with CUPE 3903 over the coming weeks to achieve negotiated collective agreements and we remain optimistic that together the parties will be able to do so.   Further information on these meetings will be shared as it becomes available.